CD review: Lights Out by Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson’s album, Girls and Boys, was the first one I heard of hers.  It was fantastic and still holds the position as one of my all-time favorites.  This may sound really weird, but years ago, I would listen to her songs while working out at my university’s gym facilities.  There was just something inspiring and calming about her voice that enabled me to really enjoy using the elliptical and let my mind calm down from the day.  She was singing songs that held heavy feelings with simple prose.  I admire this quality in songs.

Her newly released album titled, Lights Out, surprised me quite a bit.  These songs aren’t like her past ones.  Michaelson has incorporated many different styles and collaborated with various artists to create an album that is unique from any of her others.  This one is full of life and energy.  A few of her songs sounded like ones I’ve heard before  from other artists with catchy and familiar beats.

To give you some further perspective, her past songs seemed more lyric-based.  Her words took center-stage then and it seemed her music took more of a supportive role.  Conversely, in Lights Out, the music is the star this time.  Her voice reaches many ranges and she is able to bring her live concert energy onto this fourteen track album.  I was happy to hear the various instruments used this time around.  I would also say that her past albums had more depth regarding the tone and it seemed like she took her time in telling her story of each song.  Although I was eagerly anticipating this new record with the same intention, I was a little disappointed at first for this not being the case.  However, this album has the energy of the Ingrid I recognize.  She brings everyone into the party and makes sure everyone are friends by the end of the night.

She is able to grow with each stage of her career and include these pieces of her life in each of her albums.  She seems happier this time and that shows well.  I am happy that she is more appreciated as a musician because she has a one of a kind personality.  Hopefully for her next album, she can bring back her soulful words and incorporate them with pieces of her new music from Lights Out.


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